Ask SPLC: Can we use yearbook photos on social media?

Q: Can we post photos we take for the yearbook or newspaper on a social media page? A: If they are staff-generated photos and not photos taken by a private contractor, yes. A private photo studio will have contractual limits on how its photos can be used, and typically (without a substantial extra charge) they are licensed… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can we use yearbook photos on social media?

Ask SPLC: An advertiser wants to include a photo of himself holding a gun. Can we say no?

Q: I am the editor of a public high school yearbook. An advertiser — a local real estate agent — submitted a family photo as part of his ad. In it, he is holding a hunting rifle (we live in hunting country.) Given the many incidents of gun-related school violence I asked for a different photo, but… Continue reading Ask SPLC: An advertiser wants to include a photo of himself holding a gun. Can we say no?

Kansas school board revises proposed publications policy in response to student journalists’ concerns

Ben Henschel, Editor-in-Chief of The Harbinger, speaks out against the proposed policy at a July 8 school board meeting. Shawnee Mission School District / YouTube

KANSAS —  The Shawnee Mission School Board has revised a proposed student publications policy following opposition from student journalists and First Amendment advocates. The policy will have a second reading with any final revisions during an August 12 school board meeting. The initial draft would have allowed school administrators to censor any student media if… Continue reading Kansas school board revises proposed publications policy in response to student journalists’ concerns

A satirical student publication’s free speech rights may have been violated, court says

Cover of the most recent print issue of The Koala, published in 2016

CALIFORNIA — A student-run satirical publication will proceed with its lawsuit against the University of California San Diego now that an appeals court has reversed a lower court’s dismissal of the case.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit says that the university may have violated students’ rights to free speech. The… Continue reading A satirical student publication’s free speech rights may have been violated, court says

Ask SPLC: Can we publish a photo of school employees smoking outside the lunchroom?

Q: One of my photographers took a photo of some school employees smoking outside the school lunchroom. Can we publish the photo or would that be invading their privacy? A: School employees have much the same privacy rights as anyone else. There are certain places (bathrooms, private office, other private spaces not generally accessible to the public,… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can we publish a photo of school employees smoking outside the lunchroom?

PODCAST: What the privatization of Florida State University’s athletics department will mean for journalists

The spring 2019 staff of FSView and Florida Flambeau in their newsroom. Photo courtesy of Zach Bethel
Subscribe to SPLC podcasts on iTunes

Ginny Bixby: Access to public records can be the key to great journalism, especially at a public university. By examining public records, student journalists gain  information about a school’s operations and hold school officials accountable for their actions.  For student journalists at Florida State University in Tallahassee, covering the athletics department is about to become… Continue reading PODCAST: What the privatization of Florida State University’s athletics department will mean for journalists

These paid fall journalism internships are open now!

Unsplash / Andrew Neel

Every month, the Student Press Law Center publishes a list of paid journalism internships. Here are a bunch of fall internship opportunities that are still accepting applications. Did we miss any? Send an email to SPLC reporter Ginny Bixby to get internship information added. August 1 Slate (New York) Editorial Internship — Candidates for the… Continue reading These paid fall journalism internships are open now!

Ask SPLC: Does including “in my opinion” protect me from a libel or defamation suit?

Q: Does including “in my opinion” protect me from a libel or defamation suit? A: Including the phrase “in my opinion” — for example, “In my opinion, the coach is a cheater” — does not create an automatic shield to libel. Neither does simply reprinting what someone else has said by saying something like, “‘The coach is a… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Does including “in my opinion” protect me from a libel or defamation suit?

Campus police records should be open for public inspection, open-government coalition tells state Supreme Court

Editor's Note: The Student Press Law Center signed onto a friend-of-the-court brief from the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida. This story was originally published by the Brechner Center. Police who exercise arrest powers at private universities should abide by the same transparency standards as all other law-enforcement agencies, a… Continue reading Campus police records should be open for public inspection, open-government coalition tells state Supreme Court

Georgia State University pulls student-produced magazine from freshman orientation

Daniel Varitek / The Signal

GEORGIA — Georgia State University in Atlanta has pulled a student-run magazine from bags handed out to incoming freshmen at orientation. The reason for the last minute change depends on whom you ask. Administrators said printing the 52-page magazine used too much paper. Editors say a story about students with alternative jobs, including a stripper,… Continue reading Georgia State University pulls student-produced magazine from freshman orientation